cosmological principle

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pages: 292 words: 88,319

The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Endless by John D. Barrow

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, cosmological principle, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, mutually assured destruction, Olbers’ paradox, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, short selling, Stephen Hawking, Turing machine

This property of Mixmaster-like universes has been developed in great detail in J.D. Barrow and F.J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford University Press, 1986. 40. J.D. Barrow and S. Hervik, ‘Indefinite Information Processing in Ever-expanding Universes’, Physics Letters B 566, 1–7 (2003). The feature used to create the indefinite processing is rather subtle. It only appears in the most general cosmological models for the future expansion of the Universe. It is the difference in the curvature of space from one direction to another that is sustained at a high enough level to generate significant temperature differences between different directions. 41. This was first pointed out by J.D. Barrow and F.J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 668. chapter eleven Living Forever 1.

Galileo Galilei, Two New Sciences, trans. S. Drake, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1974, p. 34. 23. R. Descartes, Principles of Philosophy, 26, quoted in M. Blay, Reasoning with the Infinite, University of Chicago Press, 1993, p. 9. 24. Descartes, op. cit., 26, quoted in Blay. 25. Ibid., 27, quoted in Blay. 26. For further discussion and references see J.D. Barrow and F.J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford University Press, 1986, chap. 2, n. 245. 27. We do not (and neither do theologians it seems) dwell on the distinctions that are possible regarding the size of infinite sets. 28. N. Cusa, On Learned Ignorance, trans. J. Hopkins, Banning Press, Minneapolis, 1985, original pub. 1444. 29. This is essentially the argument of Popper and MacKay about the logical impossibility of predicting a person’s future actions if the prediction is made known to them; see J.D.

Tegmark, ‘Parallel Universes’, Scientific American, May 2003. 12. The assumption that life has a zero probability of emerging by natural processes would be tantamount to ascribing it to special creation or ‘intelligent design’. 13. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 20, 37–41 (1979). 14. Ecclesiastes 1v9. 15. See P.C.W. Davies, Nature 273, 336 (1978) and J.D. Barrow & F.J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1986. 16. S. Webb, Where is Everybody?, Copernicus, New York, 2002. 17. A. Linde, ‘The Self-reproducing Inflationary Universe’, Scientific American 5, 32 (May 1994); A. Vilenkin, Physics Letters B 117, 25 (1982). 18. Quoted in E. Maor, To Infinity and Beyond; a cultural history of the infinite, Princeton University Press, 1987, p. xiii. 19. J.L.


pages: 492 words: 149,259

Big Bang by Simon Singh

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Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, carbon-based life, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, Copley Medal, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Hans Lippershey, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, horn antenna, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Paul Erdős, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, V2 rocket, Wilhelm Olbers, William of Occam

To do the same for the whole universe would require taking into consideration all the stars and planets, known and unknown. That seems an absurd ambition—surely such a calculation is impossible? But Einstein reduced his task to a manageable level by making a single simplifying assumption about the universe. Einstein’s assumption is known as the cosmological principle, which states that the universe is more or less the same everywhere. More specifically, the principle assumes that the universe is isotropic, which means that it looks the same in every direction—which certainly seems to be the case when astronomers stare into deep space. The cosmological principle also assumes that the universe is homogeneous, which means that the universe looks the same wherever you happen to be, which is another way of saying that the Earth does not occupy a special place in the universe. When Einstein applied general relativity and his gravity formula to the universe at large, he was a little surprised and disappointed by the theory’s prediction of how the universe operates.

In short, if the universe was infinite, then it could double in size and remain infinite and unchanged, as long as matter was created in between the galaxies, as shown in Figure 86. All cosmological thinking had previously been guided by the cosmological principle, which stated that our bit of the universe, the Milky Way and its environs, is essentially the same as anywhere else in the universe. In other words, we do not inhabit a special place in the universe. Einstein exploited this principle when he first applied general relativity to the whole universe. Gold, however, was going one step further and postulated the perfect cosmological principle: not only is our patch of the universe the same as any other patch, but our era in the universe is the same as any other era. In other words, we live neither in a special place in the universe, nor at a special time.

parallax The apparent shift in location of an object when an observer changes position. Stellar parallax is used in astronomy to measure the distance to the closest stars. parsec A unit of distance used in astronomy, equal to about 3.26 light years. Short for ‘parallax second’, it is the distance at which an object would show a stellar parallax of one arcsecond. A distance of 1 million parsecs is known as 1 megaparsec (Mpc). perfect cosmological principle An extension of the cosmological principle which states that the universe is not only homogeneous and isotropic, but also unchanging with time. This principle is the basis of the Steady State model. plasma A high-temperature state of matter in which atomic nuclei become separated from their electrons. primeval atom theory Georges Lemaître’s early version of the Big Bang model in which all the atoms in the universe were originally contained in one compact ‘primeval atom’.


pages: 634 words: 185,116

From eternity to here: the quest for the ultimate theory of time by Sean M. Carroll

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Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Columbine, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, gravity well, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, lone genius, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pets.com, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Schrödinger's Cat, Slavoj Žižek, Stephen Hawking, stochastic process, the scientific method, wikimedia commons

But there is a curious asymmetry in the Big Bang model, one that should come as no surprise to us by now: the difference between time and space. The idea that matter is smooth on large scales can be elevated into the “Cosmological Principle”: There is no such thing as a special place in the universe. But it seems clear that there is a special time in the universe: the moment of the Big Bang. Some mid-century cosmologists found this stark distinction between smoothness in space and variety in time to be a serious shortcoming of the Big Bang model, so they set about developing an alternative. In 1948, three leading astrophysicists—Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle—suggested the Steady State model of the universe.43 They based this model on the “Perfect Cosmological Principle”—there is no special place and no special time in the universe. In particular, they suggested that the universe wasn’t any hotter or denser in the past than it is today.

Oxford University Press, 1999. Bardeen, J. M., Carter, B., and Hawking, S. W. “The Four Laws of Black Hole Mechanics.” Communications in Mathematical Physics 31 (1973): 161-70. Barrow, J. D., Davies, P. C. W., and Harper, C. L. Science and Ultimate Reality: From Quantum to Cosmos, honoring John Wheeler’s 90th birthday. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Barrow, J. D., and Tipler, F. J. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Baum, E. B. What Is Thought? Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004. Bekenstein, J. D. “Black Holes and Entropy.” Physical Review D 7 (1973): 2333-46. Bekenstein, J. D. “Statistical Black Hole Thermodynamics.” Physical Review D 12 (1975): 3077-85. Bennett, C. H. “Demons, Engines, and the Second Law.” Scientific American 257, no. 5 (1987): 108-16. Bennett, C.

See also Big Crunch; bouncing-universe cosmology contraction of space coordinate systems Copenhagen interpretation n Copernican Principle cosmic microwave background radiation and the Big Bang and de Sitter space discovery of and the early universe and fluctuations and Hawking radiation and the horizon problem and inflationary cosmology and reconstruction of the past and relativity cosmic no-hair theorem cosmic strings cosmological constant cosmological horizon “Cosmological Principle,” cosmology. See also specific models CPLEAR experiment CPT Theorem creationism Crick, Francis Cronin, James culture of the sciences “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Fitzgerald) Curtis, Heber curvature of space curvature of spacetime. See also general relativity and black holes and conservation of information and de Sitter space and expansion of the universe and flat space and Gott time machines and inflationary cosmology and multiverse model and relativity and tensors and time before Big Bang and time dilation and time travel and uncertainty principle and wormholes Cutler, Curt cyclic universe.


pages: 404 words: 134,430

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anesthesia awareness, anthropic principle, butterfly effect, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological principle, discovery of DNA, false memory syndrome, Gary Taubes, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, laissez-faire capitalism, life extension, Murray Gell-Mann, out of africa, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

The Faith of a Physicist (1994) by the Cambridge University theoretical physicist turned Anglican priest, John Polkinghorne, argues that physics proves the Nicene Creed, which is based on a fourth-century formula of Christian faith. In 1995, physicist Paul Davies won the $1 million Templeton Prize for the advancement of religion, in part for his 1991 book, The Mind of God. The nod for the most serious attempts, however, has to go to John Barrow and Frank Tipler's 1986 Anthropic Cosmological Principle and Frank Tipler's 1994 The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead. In the first book, the authors claim to prove that the universe was intelligently designed and thus there is an intelligent designer (God); in the second, Tipler hopes to convince readers that they and everyone else will be resurrected in the future by a supercomputer. These attempts provide a case study in how hope shapes belief, even in the most sophisticated science.

While earning his Ph.D. in physics, working with the general relativity group at the University of Maryland, Tipler was laying the groundwork for his later books. In 1976, Tipler began postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley, where he met British cosmologist John Barrow, also a postdoc. Tipler and Barrow discussed a manuscript by Brandon Carter which described the Anthropic Principle. "We thought it would be a good idea to take the idea and expand it out. And that became the Anthropic Cosmological Principle. In our last chapter we combined the idea from Freeman Dyson [1979] of life going on forever, with physical reductionism and global general relativity; the Omega Point Theory then follows." Tipler's steps in reasoning sound logical, but his conclusions push the limits of science: I wanted our book to be completely general, so I said to myself, well, what about the flat universe and the closed universe [instead of an open universe]?

Primates 21, no. 2:268-301. Ball, J. C. 1992. Air Photo Evidence: Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, Bergen Belsen, Belzec, Babi Yar, Katyn Forest. Delta, Canada: Ball Resource Services. Bank, S. P., and M. D. Kahn. 1982. The Sibling Bond. New York: Basic. Barkow, J. H., L. Cosmides, and J. Tooby. 1992. The Adapted Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Barrow, J., and F. Tipler. 1986. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Barston, A. 1994. Witch Craze: A New History of European Witch Hunts. New York: Pandora/HarperCollins. Bass, E., and L. Davis. 1988. The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. New York: Reed Consumer Books. Bauer, Y. 1994. Jews for Sale? Nazi-Jewish Negotiations, 1933-1945. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. Beck, A.


pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, millennium bug, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

This is where the Strong Anthropic Principle meets the AI Singularity: Kurzweil, Barrow and Tippler believe that there must be a purpose for intelligence in the universe. That intelligence cannot be a mere evolutionary accident that took place on a small blue planet on the outer ridges of an insignificant galaxy amongst the hundred billion galaxies that make up the observable universe. That intelligence is the pre-ordained seed of something bigger. But what could this be? In their book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Barrow and Tippler imagine a far distant future when the universe is slowly dying. This is happening because of a law in thermodynamics called entropy. This law states that heat flows from the hotter body to the cooler one – and you can test the law yourself anytime by wrapping your hands around a warm cup of tea. Keep your hands there for a while, and the temperature between your hands and the cup will ultimately equalise.

However, it is often linked to the worries of Socrates in Plato’s The Republic with regard to how the guardian class will be controlled. (Socrates suggests their moral training and proper cultivation of their souls.) 18As documented in the Apostle’s Creed recited by millions of Christians during Mass: ‘I believe … in the resurrection of the body’. 19Kurzweil, R. (2005), The Singularity Is Near. London: Viking. 20Barrow, J. D., and Tippler, F. J. (1988), The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 21Bostrom, N. (2003), ‘Are you living in a computer simulation?’, Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 53, No. 211, pp. 243–55. 22The idea of consciousness upload has been explored in several sci-fi novels and films, as for example in ‘Kill Switch’, an episode of the TV series The X-Files (written by cyberpunk pioneers William Gibson and Tom Maddox and aired in 1998).


pages: 134 words: 43,617

Double Helix by James D. Watson, Gunther S. Stent

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cosmological principle, double helix

When I first reported them to Francis they did not ring a bell, and he went on thinking about other matters. Soon afterwards, however, the suspicion that the regularities were important clicked inside his head as the result of several conversations with the young theoretical chemist John Griffith. One occurred while they were drinking beer after an evening talk by the astronomer Tommy Gold on “the perfect cosmological principle.” Tommy’s facility for making a far-out idea seem plausible set Francis to wondering whether an argument could be made for a “perfect biological principle.” Knowing that Griffith was interested in theoretical schemes for gene replication, he popped out with the idea that the perfect biological principle was the self-replication of the gene—that is, the ability of a gene to be exactly copied when the chromosome number doubles during cell division.

Toast by Stross, Charles

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anthropic principle, Buckminster Fuller, cosmological principle, dark matter, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Extropian, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, gravity well, Khyber Pass, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, NP-complete, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, performance metric, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, slashdot, speech recognition, strong AI, traveling salesman, Turing test, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

(No internet here: just a strangely intelligent environment.) Ship of Fools dives headlong into the future and crashes messily up against January the First, 2000—hopefully with more grace than many of the consultants who were selling us all on doom and gloom back then. Toast takes Moore’s Law to its logical conclusion, while Antibodies cross-fertilises Vinge’s singularity with the anthropic cosmological principle and some of Moravec’s odder theories about quantum mechanics’ many universes hypothesis in an unsettling stew: but both these stories are brittle, subject to a resounding technological refutation that could happen at any moment. I wouldn’t bet on Dechlorinating the Moderator looking anything but quaint in a decade, either. Like all alternate histories, Big Brother Iron and A Colder War both beg the questions of built-in obsolescence inherent in the genre, fleeing sideways into “what if we hadn’t done that?”


pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

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23andMe, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, data acquisition, discovery of DNA, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Extropian, fault tolerance, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, friendly AI, game design, germ theory of disease, hypertext link, impulse control, index fund, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, P = NP, pattern recognition, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, stem cell, stochastic process, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, the built environment, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce

Anderson, Poul (1962) “Kings Who Die.” If (March), pp. 8–36. The earliest story I know about intelligence amplification via computer/brain linkage. Asimov, Isaac (1942) “Runaround.” Astounding Science Fiction (March), p. 94. Reprinted in Isaac Asimov (1990) Robot Visions. New York: ROC, where Asimov also describes the development of his robotics stories. Barrow, John D. and Tipler, Frank J. (1986) The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Conrad, Michael, et al. (1989) “Towards an Artificial Brain.” BioSystems 23, pp. 175–218. Dyson, Freeman (1979) “Physics and Biology in an Open Universe.” Review of Modern Physics 51, pp. 447–460. Herbert, Frank (1985) Dune. New York: Berkley Books. This novel was serialized in Analog Science Fiction-Science Fact in the 1960s. Kovacs, G.T.A., et al. (1992) “Regeneration Microelectrode Array for Peripheral Nerve Recording and Stimulation.”

D 23/2 (January), pp. 287–298. Bettencourt, Luís M.A., Lobo, José, Helbing, Dirk, Kühnert, Christian, and West, Geoffrey B. (2007) “Growth, Innovation, Scaling, and the Pace of Life in Cities.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104/17 (April), pp. 7301–7306. Bostrom, Nick (1998) “Singularity and Predictability.” http://hanson.gmu.edu/vc.html#bostrom. Barrow, J.D. and Tipler, F.J. (1986) The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chaisson, Eric J. (1998) “The Cosmic Environment for the Growth of Complexity.” Biosystems 46/1–2, pp. 13–19. Flake, Gary William (2006) “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Imminent Internet Singularity.” Proceedings of the 15th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, Arlington, VA, p. 2. Good, I.J. (1965) “Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine.”


pages: 661 words: 169,298

Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris

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Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, delayed gratification, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Gary Taubes, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Karl Jansky, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, planetary scale, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Wilhelm Olbers

A novel, light on science but strong on personality,—————. Kepler: A Novel. Boston: Godine, 1984. Barnes, C.A., D.D. Clayton, and D.N. Schramm, eds. Essays in Nuclear Astrophysics. London: Cambridge University Press, 1982. Barnett, Lincoln. The Universe and Dr. Einstein. New York: Sloane, 1948. Venerable popularization of relativity theory. Barrow, John D., and Frank Tipler. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. London: Oxford University Press, 1986. Barut, Asim O., Alwyn van der Merwe, and Jean-Pierre Vigier, eds. Quantum, Space, and Time—The Quest Continues. London: Cambridge University Press, 1984. Essays in honor of de Broglie, Dirac, and Wigner. Baumgardt, Carola. Johannes Kepler, Life and letters. New York: Philosophical Library, 1951. Beaglehole, J.C. The Exploration of the Pacific.

Number Theory. Boston: Birkhäuser, 1984. Semitechnical historical survey. Weinberg, Steven. The Discovery of Subatomic Particles. New York: Freeman, 1983. History of the origins of particle physics. —————. The First Three Minutes. New York: Basic Books, 1977. Nontechnical account of connections between particle physics and the evolution of the early universe. —————. Gravitation and Cosmology: Principles and Applications of the General Theory of Relativity. New York: Wiley, 1972. —————. The Quantum Theory of Fields. New York: Cambridge University Press, 3 vols, 1995–2000. Weisskopf, Victor. Knowledge and Wonder. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1979. Weizsäcker, Carl Friedrich von. The History of Nature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976. —————. The Unity of Nature. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1980.


pages: 356 words: 102,224

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan

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Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, germ theory of disease, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Kuiper Belt, linked data, nuclear winter, planetary scale, profit motive, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, telepresence

Murray, journey to the Planets (New York: W.W. Norton, 1989). Jay M. Pasachoff, Astronomy: From Earth to the Universe (New York: Saunders, 1993). Carl Sagan, Cosmos (New York: Random House, 1980). Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, The Call of the Cosmos (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1960) (English translation). CHAPTER 3, THE GREAT DEMOTIONS John D. Barron and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986). A. Linde, Particle Physics and Inflationary Cosmology (Harwood Academy Publishers, 1991). B. Stewart, "Science or Animism?," Creation /Evolution, vol. 12, no. 1 (1992), pp. 18-19. Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory (New York: Vintage Books, 1994). CHAPTER 4, A UNIVERSE NOT MADE FOR US Brian Appleyard, Understanding the Present: Science and the Soul of Modern Man (London: Picador/Pan Books Ltd., 1992).


pages: 326 words: 97,089

Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars by Lee Billings

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Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, California gold rush, Colonization of Mars, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, index card, Isaac Newton, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, music of the spheres, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, planetary scale, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, Solar eclipse in 1919, technological singularity, the scientific method, transcontinental railway

Vogt, R. Paul Butler, and Nader Haghighipour, “GJ 581 Update: Additional Evidence for a Super-Earth in the Habitable Zone,” Astronomische Nachrichten, vol. 333 (2012), pp. 561–75. CHAPTER 4: The Worth of a World Fred Adams and Greg Laughlin, The Five Ages of the Universe: Inside the Physics of Eternity (New York: Free Press, 1999). John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986). Marcia Bartusiak, The Day We Found the Universe (New York: Pantheon, 2009). Lee Billings, “Cosmic Commodities: How much is a new planet worth?” Boingboing.net, February 3, 2011. http://boingboing.net/2011/02/03/cosmic-commodities-h.html. Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything (New York: Broadway Books, 2003). Thane Burnett, “Wanna buy the Earth?


pages: 696 words: 143,736

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, fudge factor, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, information retrieval, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

Fractals Everywhere. Boston: Academic Press Professional, 1993. Baron, Jonathan. Rationality and Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. Barrett, Paul H., ed. The Collected Papers of Charles Darwin. Vols. 1 and 2. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977. Barrow, John. Theories of Everything. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Barrow, John D. and Frank J. Tipler. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986. Bartee, Thomas C., ed. Digital Communications. Indianapolis, IN: Howard W Sams and Company, 1986. Basalla, George. The Evolution of Technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Bashe, Charles J., Lyle R. Johnson, John H. Palmer, and Emerson W Pugh. IBM’s Early Computers. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986. Bateman, Wayne. Introduction to Computer Music.


pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

But the microbes have no exit plan when the sun dies. We do, and we might just give them a ride. After all, those microbes may still be closer to our present selves—representatives of life’s first generation rooted in the geochemistry of planet Earth. IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ’EM, JOIN ’EM FRANK TIPLER Professor of mathematical physics, Tulane University; coauthor (with John D. Barrow), The Anthropic Cosmological Principle; author, The Physics of Immortality The Earth is doomed. Astronomers have known for decades that the sun will one day engulf the Earth, destroying the entire biosphere—assuming that intelligent life has not left the Earth before this happens. Humans aren’t adapted to living away from the Earth; indeed, no carbon-based metazoan life-form is. But AIs are so adapted, and eventually it will be the AIs and human uploads (basically the same organism) that will colonize space.


pages: 478 words: 142,608

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

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Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Ayatollah Khomeini, Brownian motion, cosmological principle, David Attenborough, Desert Island Discs, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, invisible hand, John von Neumann, luminiferous ether, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, unbiased observer

Baggini, J. (2003). Atheism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Barber, N. (1988). Lords of the Golden Horn. London: Arrow. Barker, D. (1992). Losing Faith in Faith. Madison, WI: Freedom From Religion Foundation. Barker, E. (1984). The Making of a Moonie: Brainwashing or Choice? Oxford: Blackwell. Barrow, J. D. and Tipler, F. J. (1988). The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. New York: Oxford University Press. Baynes, N. H., ed. (1942). The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Behe, M. J. (1996). Darwin’s Black Box. New York: Simon & Schuster. Beit-Hallahmi, B. and Argyle, M. (1997). The Psychology of Religious Behaviour, Belief and Experience. London: Routledge. Berlinerblau, J. (2005). The Secular Bible: Why Nonbelievers Must Take Religion Seriously.


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

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4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator

Journal of Marketing Research 49 (2012): 487–501. Gallagher, P., and C. Kerry. Digital Signature Standard. FIPS PUB 186-4, 2013. Garey, Michael R., and David S. Johnson. Computers and Intractability: A Guide to NP-Completeness. New York: W. H. Freeman, 1979. Garfield, Eugene. “Recognizing the Role of Chance.” Scientist 2, no. 8 (1988): 10. Garrett, A. J. M., and P. Coles. “Bayesian Inductive Inference and the Anthropic Cosmological Principle.” Comments on Astrophysics. 17 (1993): 23–47. Gasarch, William I. “The P =? NP Poll.” SIGACT News 33, no. 2 (2002): 34–47. Gauthier, David P. Morals by Agreement. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. Geman, Stuart, Elie Bienenstock, and René Doursat. “Neural Networks and the Bias/Variance Dilemma.” Neural Computation 4, no. 1 (1992): 1–58. Geoffrion, Arthur M. “Lagrangean Relaxation for Integer Programming.”

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

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additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

(Detractors such as Victor Stenger claim the fine-tuning is not so fine after all; there are compensatory mechanisms that would support a wider window for life to form under different conditions.) The anthropic principle comes up again in the context of contemporary cosmology theories that posit multiple universes (see notes 8 and 9, below), each with its own set of laws. Only in a universe in which the laws allowed thinking beings to exist could we be here asking these questions. One of the seminal texts in the discussion is John Barrow and Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988). See also Steven Weinberg, "A Designer Universe?" at http://www.physlink.coml Education/ essay_weinberg.cfm. 8. According to some cosmological theories, there were multiple big bangs, not one, leading to multiple universes (parallel multiverses or "bubbles"). Different physical constants and forces apply in the different bubbles; conditions in some (or at least one) of these bubbles support carbon-based life.


pages: 551 words: 174,280

The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, artificial general intelligence, Bonfire of the Vanities, conceptual framework, cosmological principle, dark matter, David Attenborough, discovery of DNA, Douglas Hofstadter, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, first-past-the-post, Georg Cantor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, illegal immigration, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John Conway, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, William of Occam

Bibliography Everyone should read these Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man (BBC Publications, 1973) Jacob Bronowski, Science and Human Values (Harper & Row, 1956) Richard Byrne, ‘Imitation as Behaviour Parsing’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B358 (2003) Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford University Press, 1976) David Deutsch, ‘Comment on Michael Lockwood, “‘Many Minds’ Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics”’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47, 2 (1996) David Deutsch, The Fabric of Reality (Allen Lane, 1997) Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations (Routledge, 1963) Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies (Routledge, 1945) Further reading John Barrow and Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Clarendon Press, 1986) Susan Blackmore, The Meme Machine (Oxford University Press, 1999) Nick Bostrom, ‘Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?’, Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2003) David Deutsch, ‘Apart from Universes’, in S. Saunders, J. Barrett, A. Kent and D. Wallace, eds., Many Worlds?: Everett, Quantum Theory, and Reality (Oxford University Press, 2010) David Deutsch, ‘It from Qubit’, in John Barrow, Paul Davies and Charles Harper, eds., Science and Ultimate Reality (Cambridge University Press, 2003) David Deutsch, ‘Quantum Theory of Probability and Decisions’, Proceedings of the Royal Society A455 (1999) David Deutsch, ‘The Structure of the Multiverse’, Proceedings of the Royal Society A458 (2002) Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Law (BBC Publications, 1965) Richard Feynman, The Meaning of It All (Allen Lane, 1998) Ernest Gellner, Words and Things (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) William Godwin, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793) Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (Basic Books, 1979) Douglas Hofstadter, I am a Strange Loop (Basic Books, 2007) Bryan Magee, Popper (Fontana, 1973) Pericles, ‘Funeral Oration’ Plato, Euthyphro Karl Popper, In Search of a Better World (Routledge, 1995) Karl Popper, The World of Parmenides (Routledge, 1998) Roy Porter, Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World (Allen Lane, 2000) Martin Rees, Just Six Numbers (Basic Books, 2001) Alan Turing, ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’, Mind, 59, 236 (October 1950) Jenny Uglow, The Lunar Men (Faber, 2002) Vernor Vinge, ‘The Coming Technological Singularity’, Whole Earth Review, winter 1993 *The term was coined by the philosopher Norwood Russell Hanson.